Sustainability education in all schools via Eco Stewardship Programme: Lawrence Wong

Chia Han Keong
·3 min read

SINGAPORE — Sustainability education will be launched in line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, with students being empowered to strengthen the country's green efforts.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong said during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate on the Green Plan 2030 on Thursday (4 March) that his ministry wants to instil a broader mindset change and new environmentally conscious habits.

"These will take time to take root in our society. We must start young and inculcate them in our students through education," he said.

Eco Stewardship Programme encompasses '4Cs'

To do so, all schools from primary to pre-university levels will introduce the Eco Stewardship Programme (ESP). This will apply to all schools from primary to pre-university levels and will be done through the "4Cs" – curriculum, campus, culture and community.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) will refresh and enhance the teaching and learning of sustainability within the science and humanities curriculum.

For instance, the primary social studies curriculum will teach students about the importance of using resources wisely to protect the environment. Meanwhile, sustainability will be featured in the revised lower-secondary science curriculum, as well as the upper-secondary and pre-university geography curriculum.

For the second "C" – campus – MOE will enhance the infrastructure in all schools with sustainability features, including more trees, energy-efficient technologies such as LED lights and Direct-Current ceiling fans, as well as solar panel deployment.

The ministry will encourage a culture of sustainability by encourage students to adopt daily habits such as reducing energy use and food waste, conserving water and recycling.

It will also leverage community partnerships to expand environment-related volunteering and enrichment opportunities for students.

"Building a culture of sustainability requires schools, families and the community to complement one another’s efforts. The learning from schools will reinforce our community efforts, and in turn, will encourage and cultivate more good habits to create a ripple effect on society," Wong said.

Minister for Education Lawrence Wong. (YouTube screengrab)
Minister for Education Lawrence Wong. (YouTube screengrab)

4 schools to pilot sustainability features, concepts

To help schools reduce carbon footprint, MOE will be piloting sustainability features and concepts in four schools – Elias Park Primary School, Mee Toh School, Commonwealth Secondary School and Tampines Secondary School – from April to 2023.

This will help the ministry work towards a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions from the schools sector by 2030.

The pilot will focus on:

  • developing school-based environmental policies and programmes to help schools reduce their carbon footprint;

  • trialling lesson packages to raise students’ awareness of their carbon footprints, and how they can reduce them;

  • developing and trialling lesson resources which either feature sustainability initiatives or are integrated with green infrastructure within the school environment;

  • enhancing infrastructure and campus to reduce each school’s carbon footprint.

Science Centre, IHLs to offer support, partnerships

To complement environmental education efforts in schools, Science Centre Singapore will partner schools to enhance their programmes, including conducting sustainability-themed learning journeys and mentoring students to lead their peers.

In addition, the new Science Centre, to be developed at the Jurong Lake District, will showcase innovative sustainability technologies, through programmes and exhibits to continue to engage youths and the public to inspire sustainable lifestyle changes.

Singapore's Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) will continue to be strong supporters of environmental sustainability. Wong said that the IHLs will connect students with relevant industry partners to curate internships to expose students to jobs in the sustainability sectors. They are also enhancing their green infrastructure and promoting sustainable living initiatives on campus.

"We hope to see in every student an eco steward for life – where they will have a sensible sensitivity towards the environment, and understand what it means to live sustainably," Wong said.

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